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Wife cheated with my "best friend"

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throwawawsp1229 posted 3/18/2021 18:07 PM

So, I didn't "just" find out. DDay was about 18 months ago, but this is my first time posting here and yesterday was my first time posting anywhere. I shared my story on a few Reddit forums yesterday and some people suggested I post here as well. So the rest is a copy and paste, minus a few edits that I made.

Sorry in advance. This will probably be a really long one and I'm not even sure where to start, but I need to vent so I'll probably just ramble as things come to me. If you make it through the whole thing, thanks. Long-time lurker first-time poster. Been super nervous about posting here. I discovered this page 2 or 3 months post dday, I wish I would've known about it beforehand.

TLDR; wife slept with my best friend during 9 month affair. We're reconciling but I still think about it every day and have constant doubts about continuing.

Dday was August 1st, 2019. A little back story first, I guess. I got out of the military about a year prior, moved to a new state for a new job. My best friend from the service, whom I knew for about 10 years at this point, was from the area I was going to and lived there now with his spouse (we'd both known her for about 8 years); who I'd be working with at the new job. We're all early to mid-30s.

Fast forward 9 months, the 4 of us and my 3 kids have been hanging out pretty much every weekend and multiple times during the week. We do dinners, game nights, hikes, days at the pool, holidays. I don't know anybody here so they are like family. My wife and I are looking at buying a house in their neighborhood and he and his wife had offered to let us stay with them between our current rental lease ending and whenever we were able to close. They have a huge house with 4 unused bedrooms and a big yard, so plenty of room for us.

For a couple of weeks prior to discovery, there were little things that raised my suspicions. The two of them kinda separating off when we were all together, them just kinda seeming awkward around each other. I brushed it off as me being paranoid because I am the jealous type, but I trusted both of them completely. Obviously a mistake. The week before I found out my wife had gone on a trip back home and left her Mac. I've always known her Mac and iPhone passwords, it's not something she ever tried to hide and she never seemed defensive of her phone. I went on to see her messages and didn't find anything damning, but did find more that made me suspicious. Her messages had stopped synching not long after we moved here and, although their messages seemed harmless from what was synched, there were weird gaps in their conversations that made some of what was there not make sense.

So, she comes back from her trip and a few days later the 4 of us are hanging out. This is the day before we're supposed to register our kids at school in their town and about a month before our lease is up and we're supposed to stay with them. Everyone is outside while I'm inside getting a drink and I notice her phone in the kitchen. My suspicions/curiosity get the best of me and I open it up. The last few messages between them were definitely indicative of something going on but I don't have time to read through everything so I just start scrolling up. Doesn't take long before I see nude photos of her. At this point my heart is racing, I'm nauseous and sweating, and I don't know what to do. I end up not doing anything but stay inside and wait for them to be done and my wife to go to bed so I can get on her phone and see how far it all goes.

I read through all her messages, lots of gaps in conversations like she was trying to cover her tracks, but multiple nudes, dirty talk, them chatting all day every day, talk of a cloud drive with more pictures on it. This goes back a few months, and there's nothing concrete before that. I leave everything open on her phone so she knows I saw and I go to work. She's sending a million texts that I don't reply to. I confront her that night, she's crying and super apologetic, but lying about the extent of everything. Apparently, she deleted everything with him as soon as she realized I saw it and she didn't know how much was there or how much I knew. Eventually, she admits to a bunch of it but stops short of admitting to sex and says it started a few months ago and slowly progressed.

I agree to wait things out and see what happens with us before I make any decisions. She blocks him on all messaging/social media, I renew the lease in our rental and keep the kids in their school. I ask tons of questions during this time. Some things she's open about, lots of stuff she "doesn't remember", some things she gets defensive about and expects me to get over it. We don't do therapy, which was probably a mistake. I continue to go through her phone and computer constantly. I find some more pictures, the cloud drive is gone so I never saw what was there. I still don't know when it really started or what happened when. There was also a bunch of what I know now was hysterical bonding. 3 months post dday I message him for the first time and just ask for his story. Some of it makes sense, some of it is new info that makes me suspicious of her, some of it I know he's downplaying/lying about so it doesn't seem as bad. This is the last time I ever hear from him. I never told his wife, who I still see at work to this day.

His wife tried contacting my wife a few times after we went NC with him. My wife didn't respond. Even though I see her at work fairly often, she's never asked me a single question about it. She just bullshits with me like nothing is different. I feel like she has to suspect/know and is afraid of the truth. I've decided, based on the advice of my therapist, to not tell her or bring it up. However, I will divulge everything if she ever comes to me about it.

4 months post dday (dday 2 for me) I find more old pictures on her Mac and discover iMessage has archives. I can't see anything after she stopped syncing the messages, but everything she deleted while they were synching is there. Turns out it started within a week of us moving here. Inappropriate talk, pictures, probably physical to some degree. I confront her and say I want a divorce. She loses her shit and goes into a downward spiral, but continues to say there's nothing else, which I can't believe. We sleep in separate rooms. Her best friend starts calling me saying she's worried about my wife. My wife does have a long, known history of anxiety, depression, and self-harm. I convince her to see a doctor. She attempts suicide on the day of her doctor's appointment. She's now on meds, sees her doctor, a therapist, and a psychiatrist regularly. We attempt marriage counseling but I hate it. I start IC.

A few weeks after her therapy she comes clean about actually sleeping with him, and admits that she slept with him about 6 years prior when he and I were in the service together (supposedly only once). She starts reading a bunch of reconciliation books and apologizes constantly for everything is trying to be the ideal WS and mother.

Now 18 months out, I still love her but feel completely indifferent about us being together. I don't trust her, after the 2nd dday it took months for me to be physical with her again. I still get paranoid when I'm at work, when she goes to work, or when I see her on her phone. The triggers aren't as severe this far out, I haven't cried in a long time, but they are just as constant. I had nightmares for months. They're less frequent but I still don't sleep well. Part of me hesitates to leave because we have nothing in this state aside from each other but I can't afford to leave this job. If we separate, she and possibly the kids, go back home to couch hop and change schools. Which is not stable for the kids. If the kids stay here, they lose their mom when she goes home and I'm a full-time single dad, working full time with no support network here. Kinda lose-lose. I offered to get her a house here with the kids and I'd rent an apartment. But again, she doesn't think she can do it on her own with no support here. So we're in a weird place where things are kind of "normal", but I'm still pretty miserable and she lives in constant fear of me deciding to leave.

I want closure from my "best friend". I've tried reaching out to him a few times. I know he saw the messages but he doesn't respond. I feel like I need to hear the actual truth from him to help me recover. And if he tells me more than what my wife has said then I know she is still keeping things from me after she was supposed to have divulged all info. I still have a lot of questions and suspicions that my WS was either unable or unwilling to answer. My therapist says my situation is compounded by the fact that I basically suffered two betrayals and lost the only "family" I had here. I'm still lost.

To clarify: based on all of the responses I received on Reddit yesterday, I decided I should tell AP's wife and I intend to discuss it with my wife soon.

TLDR; wife slept with my best friend during 9 month affair. We're reconciling but I still think about it every day and have constant doubts about continuing.

Marz posted 3/18/2021 18:17 PM

I've decided, based on the advice of my therapist, to not tell her or bring it up. However, I will divulge everything if she ever comes to me about it.

Your therapist is a fool. Some of these people are really bad. They arenít gods and you got a bad one.

You are helping hide their affair.

You want closure call his wife and tell her whatís been going on for years. Heís probably a serial cheater. Wouldnít you want to know?

All cheaters lie a lot. A lot!

Marz posted 3/18/2021 18:21 PM

Some things she's open about, lots of stuff she "doesn't remember", some things she gets defensive about and expects me to get over it. We don't do therapy, which was probably a mistake. I continue to go through her phone and computer constantly. I find some more pictures, the cloud drive is gone so I never saw what was there. I still don't know when it really started or what happened when.

Did she get rid of the cloud drive?

Sorry man but from what youíve posted sheís just sorry she got caught.

throwawawsp1229 posted 3/18/2021 18:23 PM

I got this response a lot on Reddit so I added this to the bottom of my post.

To clarify: based on all of the responses I received on Reddit yesterday, I decided I should tell AP's wife and I intend to discuss it with my wife soon.

Marz posted 3/18/2021 18:27 PM

A few weeks after her therapy she comes clean about actually sleeping with him, and admits that she slept with him about 6 years prior when he and I were in the service together (supposedly only once).

Sheís been lying for at least 6 years. You know the tip of the iceberg.

Your friend was a lying cheating snake and was never your friend.

Why would you help cover his affair with your wife?

Marz posted 3/18/2021 18:31 PM

To clarify: based on all of the responses I received on Reddit yesterday, I decided I should tell AP's wife and I intend to discuss it with my wife soon.

Noooooo! Your wife will inform him and allow him to cover himself.

You should have learned one thing. You canít trust your wife!

Tell her OMís wife without telling your wife. Youíll find out real quick if they are in contact.

An affair going on that long doesnít just stop in most cases.

[This message edited by Marz at 6:34 PM, March 18th (Thursday)]

asc1226 posted 3/18/2021 18:34 PM

To clarify: based on all of the responses I received on Reddit yesterday, I decided I should tell AP's wife and I intend to discuss it with my wife soon.

Standard advice is donít tell your WW. She may warn him and all of sudden his wife gets a story about how youíve gone off the deep end making crazy accusations. Also if your WW comes to you pissed off afterward you know theyíre still in contact. But since itís been 18 months heís probably already prepared a plan for that. I suppose youíre telling her to give her a last chance to come clean?

throwawawsp1229 posted 3/18/2021 18:37 PM

I haven't finished working it out. But I want to force her to tell his spouse if I can, also hoping it will force her to come clean about anything else. If she refuses I'll just contact his wife on the spot and tell her so there's no time to conspire, if they are still in contact.

throwawawsp1229 posted 3/18/2021 18:46 PM

Also, I have screenshots of a lot of their conversations that aren't hard to extrapolate some truth from.

Marz posted 3/18/2021 18:52 PM

I haven't finished working it out. But I want to force her to tell his spouse if I can, also hoping it will force her to come clean about anything else. If she refuses I'll just contact his wife on the spot and tell her so there's no time to conspire, if they are still in contact.

Maybe itís time you took full control and do it yourself. Which is what you should have done upfront.

However, itís your life and your call.

BigNoob posted 3/18/2021 18:56 PM

You still have e all these doubts this far out. IMO I would have your wife pay for a polygraph. Hopefully she does a parking lot confession.


Have you considered speaking with a P.I. to see if they can recover deleted texts?

asc1226 posted 3/18/2021 18:57 PM

Maybe itís time you took full control and do it yourself. Which is what you should have done upfront.

Also your WW will probably be an over emotional mess. Not that thereís a good way for the OBS to find out, but someone whoís been through the betrayal is probably preferable to someone who participated in it.

ChamomileTea posted 3/18/2021 19:17 PM

First off, logistics might be difficult, but no cheater is owed a second chance. She might find it easier to go back to her home town if you two divorce, but that doesn't mean a family court judge would allow it. These are things you'd need to discuss with an attorney, right?

That said, it's not unusual to feel still ambivalent at this point in R. You'd be crazy or stupid to be "all in" with someone who has so flagrantly demonstrated her capacity for lies and deceit. One of the dirty little secrets of R is that the vast majority of BS's DO have one foot out the door for YEARS. It takes time to rebuild trust, and even then, it's never the naive, innocent trust we once had. That's not a bad thing though. It makes us demand a little more from people, right?

R also takes effort from the WS. So, what has she done to prove to you that she's made the necessary changes to remediate her poor character? Cheating is a character problem. It's about the gap between a cheater's stated values and their actual deeds. At the wedding, the cheater vows their belief in fidelity, but then it turns out that their core value of fidelity is weak and permeable. The cheater has a "but..." in her core value of fidelity. ie. "She believes in fidelity, but... not if another guy makes her feel attractive or whatever" Non-cheaters don't have a "but...". We've got a "so...". ie. I believe in fidelity, so... I don't put myself in risky situations with the opposite sex." You see how that works, right? This is the BOUNDARY we make surrounding our core values.

Building boundaries is an organic process for people who truly honor their beliefs. We don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about, we just do it. It's natural to protect something you value. For cheaters though, those boundaries aren't there because the values aren't there. There's nothing internal stopping them cold from acting on whatever stuff 'n fluff is going through their head. Most are dealing with an unhealthy need for external validation or an unhealthy need for sexual conquest, but whatever it is, there's some unhealthy impetus going on which overrides the promises and vows they've made.

So... the question is, what has she done to discover WHY she cheated? How has she remediated whatever it was inside her which made cheating a viable choice in her decision tree?

Recovery for a WS is really humbling, introspective, painful work. Because the cheater thought they were this person, but it turned out they were that one. A truly repentant cheater will turn over every stone to figure out how they let themselves down like that, and it goes without saying that their guilt is immense. But guilt don't feed the bulldog. No amount of tears or snot-bubbled promises to change are going to make you feel secure in the relationship. You have to SEE the work, and you have to SEE the changes. And maybe you don't know exactly what you're looking for, but you know it's still not what it ought to be. We can all recognize the difference between getting our asses kissed and someone actually changing their priorities and perspectives.

As far as the best friend goes.... he's not worth your time. What kind of "closure" could you expect from a guy who smiled in your face and did you dirt behind your back? APs are full of excuses and lies. How could you believe anything he said to you? It's painful, I know. But try to put that guy out of your mind. If it helps, tell yourself that you're not going to let an asshole like that live rent-free in your brain space. He's nothing. He's scum on the bottom of humanity's shoe.

As far as your ambivalence about the marriage is concerned, try opening up your options. That doesn't mean you have to run right out and file for D, but if your WW is a SAHM, think about sending her out to work. That increases income and minimizes any potential divorce payout. It also gets her more invested in the community and less likely to try and get a judge to sign off on an out of town move. Work on getting your finances where they need to be and maybe talk with an attorney or financial planner on how to manage expenses should you decide to divorce. Having a back-up plan can make you feel more confident in staying. It's so important that at some point in recovery, we learn to take ownership of our choice to stay or go. By allowing both options as you deliberate, you're not staying by default, which can leave you feeling stuck or trapped.

Anyway, long post made shorter... embrace your ambivalence. For right now, it's NORMAL.

Strength to you as you process.

Sharkman posted 3/18/2021 19:25 PM

If you tell your wife she'll simply warn him. It's been done a thousand times and it never works out right.

Plus you get the benefit of not telling your wife at all. If she "finds out" then you know that there was never No Contact in place.

Buster123 posted 3/18/2021 19:53 PM

To clarify: based on all of the responses I received on Reddit yesterday, I decided I should tell AP's wife and I intend to discuss it with my wife soon.
Do NOT telegraph your moves, EXPOSE without warning for maximum impact, POSOM will likely throw your WW under the bus to save his own M. EXPOSE immediately and without warning.

GTeamReboot posted 3/18/2021 19:54 PM

I only have time for a quick reply. I wanted to say that while I canít relate to the experience of a long term affair (LTA), I can relate to what a special kind of hell a double betrayal is. In addition to coping with your marriage you have to grieve the loss of friendships that felt valuable even if they were built on a lie. Disentangling from close family friends sucks on top of the more obvious trauma.

Even though you are many months out it sounds like you need to go back to basics. Full timeline, your chance to ask questions without defensiveness, polygraph. If she has read books as she claims, she knows this. Has she not done it? If she hasnít done it then maybe sheís just trying to put up a good act without doing anything tooooo painful for herself.

Hang in there!

Dude67 posted 3/18/2021 20:05 PM

Thereís a 100 percent chance itís worse than even your mind is telling you. Tell your wife that she needs to take a poly. If she refuses, then you have your answer.

Freeme posted 3/18/2021 20:12 PM

I haven't finished working it out. But I want to force her to tell his spouse if I can, also hoping it will force her to come clean about anything else. If she refuses I'll just contact his wife on the spot and tell her so there's no time to conspire, if they are still in contact.

Please do not do this. Think about the OBS. Do you think she is going to want to hear this from your WW? The woman she thought was her friend? The woman that's been screwing her husband? No, this is news you should tell her. You should not warn your WW you are going to tell his wife, you should just do it.

My guess is that he has already spread some lies about you and why you suddenly decided not to move in with them and that it's probably makes you look bad... otherwise she would have said something to you at work. Just be prepared for that.

Also, if you don't tell your WW prior you will know if she and OM are in contact. ... Most likely he will try to get intouch with your WW right after you talk to his wife... See how your WW reacts to this... is she mad at you? Does she tell you that he contacted her?... It's a good way of checking to see how honest she is.

Again the best approach is for you to tell the OBS and not let your WW know that you are doing this.
Do not blackmail the OM, do not blackmail your WW, ..do not wait too long. Just do it.

throwawawsp1229 posted 3/18/2021 20:17 PM

Advice taken on board. I'll go directly to her without anyone else knowing.

BlueRaspberry posted 3/18/2021 21:00 PM

Consider purchasing and placing a few VARs where your wife might make phone calls (car, study, bedroom) before you inform the OBS. That way, if the OM and your wife speak over the phone, youíll know theyíre in contact and what they are saying. It will also give you valuable intelligence after any other talks you have with her that she discusses with others (girlfriend, family members, OM).

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